Our first anniversary contest ended last night, and rather than dawdle like lazy little gnomes, we decided to get the lead out and announce the winner the next day — today, in fact.

The only catch is that because of the way Gnome Stew is set up, we need a certain amount of pointless, filibuster-style text at the start of this article, or you’ll be able to read the winner’s name on the main page and you’ll never click through to read the whole thing — thereby missing out on a really cool GMing tool.

Ahem. That should be sufficient.

Drum Roll Please…

Chosen at random, the winner of our first anniversary contest is Gnome Stew reader smalvarado! Congrats, smalvarado! You should have received an email from us this morning, and your set of Battlegraph tiles will be on its way shortly.

Our thanks to everyone who entered this contest, and to Longtooth Studios for supplying the prize.

The Stew’s own DNAphil got his review set of Battlegraphs in the mail last week, and gave them a test drive this past weekend. Don’t miss his review, which went up this morning: Battle Boards Assemble!: A Review of Battlegraph Dry Erase Tiles.

Newbie DM’s Starter Kit for New D&D 4e GMS

A couple of weeks back, I posted this via Twitter:

My favorite new-to-me RPG blog I’ve read recently: http://newbiedm.com/ Understated, talented, and highly enjoyable.

And just yesterday, I got a link from the Newbie DM himself that affirms that I was on the right track: Free Kobold Hall starter kit for first-time GMs.

At 46 pages, this puppy is full of clever things: charming monster tokens, an encounter tracker, square status tokens designed to be visible from beneath the counters, and blown-up versions of the color maps included in the DMG — but sized for printing on 8.5×11 paper.

It’s everything you need to run the introductory Kobold Hall adventure for 4e (no idea on the quality of the adventure), and when you’re done you’ll have the start of a counter collection for monsters and some nifty status tokens.

This would have been a great package for WotC to post online to coincide with the release of the 4e DMG, with a link in the back of the book. It would have made a natural lead-in to Insider content, as well as a great intro to play aids for new GMs.

Kudos to Newbie for making this starter kit — you should definitely check it out.